Scott Turow, is an attorney and an author. Mr. Turow’s
first book, One L, about his experience as a first-year
student at Harvard Law School, was published in 1977. Ten
years later, he achieved a life-long ambition, with the
publication of his first novel, Presumed Innocent,
followed by The Burden of Proof and Pleading
Guilty. His fourth novel, The Laws of Our
Fathers, was published in 1996. Personal
Injuries was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in
October, 1999 and Reversible Errors was published in
November 2002 (also by Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Mr.
Turow’s books have been translated into more than 25
languages and, in total, have sold approximately twenty-
five million copies worldwide. They have won a number of
literary awards. His latest book, Ultimate Punishment: A
Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty,
was published on October 1, 2003.
Mr. Turow continues to work as an attorney. He is a partner
in the Chicago office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, a
national law firm with 600 lawyers. Mr. Turow’s practice
centers on white collar criminal litigation. Mr. Turow
devotes a substantial part of his practice now to pro bono
work, including representations in cases involving the
death penalty. In one of these matters, Alejandro
Hernandez, co-defendant of Rolando Cruz, was exonerated
after 11 years in prison.
Scott Turow was born on April 12, 1949 in Chicago,
Illinois. He graduated with high honors from Amherst
College in 1970. That year, he received an Edith Mirrielees
Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing
Center, which he attended from 1970-72. From 1972 to 1975,
Mr. Turow taught Creative Writing at Stanford, as E.H.
Jones Lecturer. In 1975, he entered Harvard Law School,
graduating with honors in 1978. From 1978 to 1986, he was
an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago. He was one
of the prosecutors in the trial of Illinois Attorney
General William J. Scott, who was convicted of tax fraud.
Mr. Turow was also lead government counsel in a number of
the trials connected to Operation Greylord, a federal
investigation of corruption in the Illinois judiciary. Mr.
Turow has been active in a number of charitable causes,
including Literacy Chicago. In 1997-98, he served as
president of the Authors Guild, which is the national
membership organization for professional writers, and
continues to serve on its governing board. He is a Trustee
of Amherst College.
Mr. Turow has been appointed to a number of public bodies.
He is currently the Chairman of Illinois' Executive Ethics
Commission. From 2002-2004, he served as Chair of the
Illinois State Appellate Defender’s Commission, which
oversees the state agency which represents indigent
criminal defendants in their appeals. He served as one of
the fourteen members of the Commission appointed in March,
2000, by Illinois Governor George Ryan to consider reform
of the capital punishment system; the Commission was
appointed after Governor Ryan declared a Moratorium on
executions and delivered its report in April 2002. From
2000 to 2002, Mr. Turow was a member of the Illinois State
Police Merit Board, which determines matters of hiring,
promotion and discipline for members of the Illinois State
Police. He also has served in 1997 and 1998 on the United
States Senate Nominations Commission for the Northern
District of Illinois, which recommended appointment of
Mr. Turow has been married to Annette Turow, a painter,
since 1971. They have three children. The family lives